I think going plastic free and get close to zero waste was the easiest in the bathroom so here are my simple changes I have made. I decided to make a 2 part series of this post as I haven’t finished my NoPoo journey and I also haven’t tried the DivaCup (being pregnant and all) . Have thrown some stats in because it is horrific to see how much waste we are creating with these simple /everyday items.
1# Bamboo toothbrush. I have to be honest it did feel a bit weird at first. I mean the bamboo in my mouth. I was so used to the plastic feel that it got some used to (maybe a few days) till I was absolutely fine with it. The brush is great, the handle is a handle. I am not buying into all the adverts on TV that different shape of the heads would make my teeth much cleaner than others. Teeth needs brushing, that is it! Your hand manoeuvres are the key not the shape of the brush head and the length of the bristles in my opinion.
Pollution level – Only in the US every year one billion toothbrush (Worldwide estimation is about 2 billion) get sent to landfill and none of these are biodegradable therefore they remain in landfills indefinitely.
2# Toothpaste. That also took some getting used to. First of all it doesn’t foam. I think I was so used to loads of foam it was just weird at first why it doesn’t. But does the foam actually do anything anyway? I have found some articles about it and according to these there is no added benefit in the foam at all. It is just a reassurance for customers that the toothpaste is working . The foaming effect is coming from the ingredient SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) which apparently has a harmful effect on skin tissues. Not only that all off-the-supermarket-shelf toothpaste comes in plastic tubes but they are not really good for us either. More reasons to switch. Also we go through way more than we should (you know companies want to increase sell so they make you use 3x as much as we should) Pea size !! Not a caterpillar all across and over the head of the brush like in the adverts.
Pollution level – one billion (again) every year sent to landfill.
3# Recycled toilet paper. There is one other solution which is the washable cloths (I get it. It works but might not be my thing just yet) or 100% recycled toilet paper. I know we all love the idea of softness like a koala bear or a little puppy when it comes to wiping our back side but trust me, recycled toilet papers are not like razor blades or cardboards either. They are soft and much MUCH better for the planet. So check out Waitrose ECOlogical or Ecoleaf (comes in plastic packaging which is a shame but at least it is recycled paper). If you are a bad ass go absolutely zero waste with Who gives a crap who also turns 50% of their profit to Wateraid.
Where to get them? See above links.
Pollution level – Toilet paper production wipes out 27000 trees a day.
4# Soap bars for body and hair. When I started my zero waste back in February 2017, I found about 6 bottles of shampoos and 3 bottles of conditioners in our bathroom cabinet (mental!) so I was determined to first “quickly” use them up before the switch. I only lasted 3.5 bottles before I gave birth to Caelan and my hair started the postpartum glow. So I went #Nopoo. (I will review this journey in another post but I wanted to have an entry here for soap bars generally.) When I was growing up in Hungary in the 90s I remember we only had soap bars and guess what, we were clean. Then all these advertisements with liquid soap came in and life changed. From that point on till that February, I was buying into the “liquid soap is better” promise. But is it? First and foremost it comes in plastic. Second we go through way more than we should (just like with toothpaste). Liquid hand soap for example uses on average 2.3 grams of soap per wash compared to bar soap using just 0.35 grams. I am sure Florence Nightingale would agree that for us to stay clean and bacteria free that is enough. Here are some of the easy to get brands I like. Dead Sea (one of my favourite ) / Oliva from Holland and Barrett. If you want to get totally into it, try the 100% Vegan, Organic, Handmade , Sustainable , Ethical and Cruelty free Soap Nuts or Lush.
Pollution level: in 2015 270,000,000 plastic bottles with liquid soap sent to landfills. As it turns out consumers between 18 and 24 believe that bar soaps are covered in germs after use. Bacteria is not transferred via hand soap and our obsession to stay 100% clean is actually leading to increased ill health. I say let’s get dirty and plastic free!!
Read more on the cost of liquid soap here.
5# Deodorant. I know it is a biggy. It has to work, full stop. No messing about. No one wants to smell obviously. Still given that there are more and more plastic free available it is always worth trying them out I say. They don’t cost a fortune so here is the one I am using at the moment Lush Aromaco Deodorant. I keep mine in the fridge but you don’t need to. Before applying it I run it under a little bit of water. It really works even during the heatwave in London. I have also heard of and keen to try later as soon as my bar finishes Earth Conscious.
Pollution level of the casings: Plastic casing… well it is plastic and only 9%-10% of all plastic created on this planet has ever been recycled.
6# Cotton buds with paper stick. For that 5-10 second we are actually using it, our environment is suffering. Waitrose now have the paper stick ones (plastic casing though) or go completely plastic free with these. Not much to write about it, it is a cotton buds. Does the job! Get the paper stick one if you can afford it.
Pollution level – as we are tent to flush then down the toilet they all end up in our Sea (like most plastic items). On one Scottish beach alone, 13,500 plastic cotton bud sticks were found by conservation volunteers from the Marine Conservation Society in a single visit. They are just everywhere in our Sea and beaches. Google search the image “cotton buds on beaches” and you will see…
Thank you for reading my post and do comment if you have suggestions on other brands? If you tried some of these? Or if you just feel like it. I would love to hear your comments and thoughts.
P.S. Part 2 is up now – here